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Fact Check

Does leaving your phone plugged all night damage your battery?

2 Mins read

As awesome as mobile devices are, one thing that becomes of concern about them is the battery. It is fun when we use our phones for the various things we use them for, but as soon as the battery starts nearing ‘red’, you’ll see people go into a panic.

In the early days of mobile telephones that run on first-generation GSM networks, phones could run for days without the need for another charge. However, nowadays, even with the heavy mAh built into phone batteries, many would still need to be charged every other day.

A phone with a 4000 – 6000 mAh would likely endure the whole day with light to heavy usage. And due to our daily activities, and how it’s not feasible (and usually unsafe) to plug one’s device just anywhere, we wait till we get back home before charging our phones.

If you are like me – I use my phone for several things, and hardly use it while charging – then, you might not have a choice but to plug your phone to charge overnight, while you enjoy your sleep.

Read also: Can Phones be Hacked Via Charging Ports?

If power is on all through the night, and your phone is well plugged in, it would be fully charged in about 4 hours. Let’s say you sleep around 10 pm, your phone is fully charged at 2 am, but it still remains plugged till you wake up at 5 am – that’s three hours of charging after fully being charged.

Does leaving your phone charging overnight damage your battery?

This is one of the many rumours about battery, and it is just plain wrong! And here’s why:

Smartphones are smart enough to know when your phone has enough charge. With the mechanism built into smart devices, they can regulate the amount of charge the battery gets by reducing the flow of energy when there’s a need for it.

For example, when you plug your phone at a low battery, it takes a shorter time for it to go up to 80%, then charging slows down between 80% and 90%, and then even slower between 90% and 100%.

The phone takes in the maximum amount of current to fill the battery to 80%, then it reduces the inflow of current so that your phone will not get too hot and damaged. Then, it further reduces it till the phone is fully charged.

Suggested read: Understanding Your USB Cable: types and uses of USB cables

When the phone is charged and still plugged in, the phone stops charging. Yes, the current stops flowing into the battery. However, to maintain 100%, the phone does a trickle charge, topping up the energy used while idle.

Trickle charging is just like refilling your cup after taking a little sip of the content.

In summary, your phone is smart enough to protect itself from power issues. Just make sure you use a good charger and cable, let your phone do the rest, while you snore away into Dreamland.

This doesn’t mean the battery won’t wear out with time, because with each use, the battery loses a nano bit of itself. In the same way humans also get old regardless of how you’re careful about good health, batteries also get old.

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About author
When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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